Psalm 50:1-6; 1 Kings 11:26-40; 2 Corinthians 2:12-17
Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. >Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is >recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with >life.
I often wonder if this is true of me.
There are few things in this life that I desperately want. When I die, oh how I would love it to be said of me that because of Christ I gave off “an aroma redolent with life.”
So often I find myself staring into the mirror seeing my shortcomings and failings to love well. The lack of love is so easily apparent. Thankfully, there is a grace that knows no bounds that has been offered to me through this Christ whom I seek to follow.
This little passage is such a good reminder that words matter. How we live matters.
It's also a reminder that when we seek to live this way there will be people who won't respond well. They will see the pursuit of love and will find is distasteful, a stench.
But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.
How can I be sure that I'm speaking life? How can I know that the words and way I live are honoring and pleasing to Christ?
This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on? No—but at least we don’t take God’s Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap. We stand in Christ’s presence when we speak; God looks us in the face. We get what we say straight from God and say it as honestly as we can.
It's that last little bit that jumps at me, “say it as honestly as we can.”
There's no “but” tagged onto the words of Jesus. There's no attempt to package him or mitigate him for our comfort. No, when we are speaking the truth in love it is not going to be a cheap, watered down, Christ. It is going to be the message of the cross and resurrection that is laden with grace, mercy, compassion, empathy, and love.
I suppose this is the means by which I can evaluate myself. Is the way I live and the words I speak bookended with grace and love?
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